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At Chicago Newsroom, we like to talk about the week’s local news and about local journalism. We think of our show as a conversation about this week’s Chicago.

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CN May 16 2019

Fred Hampton and Mark Clark were murdered by county and city police forces. There was a rogue torture operation within the Chicago Police department that for years abused  scores of people in order to extract confessions – confessions that were so wrong that decades later we taxpayers are still paying the bills for reparations.

The fact that we know anything at all about these dark periods in our history is attributable almost exclusively to a small band of crusading Northwestern law students that came together in the late sixties to form the People’s Law Office. The injustices they uncovered and proved in court required five decades of research and advocacy, but today the misdeeds of city and county law enforcement agencies and the men who led them are well known – at least to those who care about such things.

After fifty years of battling a biased judiciary and deeply secretive police agencies, Flint Taylor has assembled his life’s work into major book that lays out a stunning indictment of governmental misconduct at multiple levels.

It’s called The Torture Machine.

It’s our honor to have Flint Taylor, a Peoples’ Law Office founder, as our guest this week.

Thom Clark, who for decades fought for community access to the media through the Community Media Workshop he co-founded with Hank DeZutter, joins the show as a co-interviewer for this important discussion.

You’ll hear how Taylor and his associates were able to gain access to the rooms where Hampton and Clark were shot in 1968, and gather large amounts of evidence that would eventually prove rampant misconduct on the part of law enforcement. And how it took decades to prove it.

You’ll see in the book, and in this discussion, a detailed account of the People’s Law Office’s three-decade crusade to gather evidence and prove the existence of a torture operation deep within the CPD that elicited scores of wrongful confessions through extreme torture, and resulted in many innocent people spending decades in prison for crimes they simply didn’t commit. And the scores of millions of dollars in reparations that the citizens of Chicago have paid out to compensate men who spent the most productive years of their lives in prison unnecessarily.

You’ll see endless accounts of a judicial system complicit in the coverup of this gross misconduct, and the few judges who eventually saw injustice and took a stand.

And, perhaps most importantly, you’ll hear about the decades-long battle Taylor and his partners fought against Richard M. Daley, Richard Devine and other top officials for their refusal to acknowledge, or attempt to end, the electric shocks, the beatings, the sexual humiliation and racial injustices that public officials administered to countless men in the name of justice.

This isn’t a breezy or entertaining show to watch. It’s deeply disturbing at times, as is The Torture Machine.  But we strongly recommend watching, because rather than dwelling in the gross misdeeds of a band of sadistic men, this show celebrates the dogged devotion of a small group of advocates who were certain that there was injustice and devoted their lives to rooting it out, proving it and obtaining some semblance of justice for those subjected to it.

You can read a full transcript of the discussion here: CN transcript May 16 2019

Watch the video by tapping the image above.

Listen to the discussion on Soundcloud here.

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CN May 9 2019

 

Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa visits Chicago Newsroom this week for an animated conversation about affordable housing, City Council reorganization, police reform, elected school board legislation and plenty more. We began with the proposal to build an all-affordable hundred-unit building, called the Emmett Street project, in his 35th Ward. It would sit immediately adjacent to the Kedzie exit from the Logan Square Blue Line stop. The project has a lot of support in his ward, as was demonstrated at a community meeting last month that drew about 500 people, overwhelmingly in favor of the development. It would be built on an existing city-owned parking lot, adjacent to the Blue Line, a location that was very attractive to commercial developers.

“There was a plan to issue a request for proposals to sell the land for the top dollar that the city could fetch,” the Alderman begins, “and then allow a developer to build a transit-oriented development at that site that would include maybe 30% affordability with the rest market rate housing, condominiums and a large retail complex. You know on the first and second floors of the building was kind of the concept that was being tossed around.”

So an alderman was proposing donating a huge city lot that could have fetched big bucks on the open market. “And so they said, ‘Alderman,’ and I’m not going to name names but someone said, ‘Alderman the city needs revenue. We need to sell that piece of land for the top dollar that we can fetch and then we need to make sure that it’s on the property tax rolls, that it’s bringing in sales tax revenue and I said, ‘Look that’s a legitimate public policy concern, but another legitimate public policy concern is that we need affordable housing, particularly neighborhoods that are facing displacement like Logan Square. And here we have a city-owned land that we can give to a non-profit affordable housing developer or to CHA to develop 100% affordable housing.’”

Several years passed, but eventually Mayor Emanuel agreed to the plan.

“City-wide there is a desperate need for affordable housing,” Ramirez-Rosa continues. “About one in two Chicagoans I believe was the last number I saw. Don’t quote me on that, but I think close to one out of two Chicagoans are rent stressed, which means that they are paying more than 30%. So many Chicagoans are paying 50-60% of their pay in rent.”

The Alderman expresses optimism that this and other projects will move forward after Mayor Lightfoot takes office. “I’m really excited that Mayor Elect Lightfoot has committed so clearly that she wants to build more affordable housing, and I know from my friends that work at affordable housing that are serving on the transition team it seems like they are cooking up something really good, so I look forward to hearing about exactly what Mayor-Elect Lightfoot would like to see in regards of building more affordable housing.”

We broaden the discussion to the Transit-Oriented Development trend in general. Parts of Milwaukee Avenue just outside his ward  in Logan Square have seen stunning growth in recent years since the enactment of TOD ordinances that allow big, dense buildings with almost no parking. But the Alderman says some new studies are beginning to cast doubt on the value of these developments, especially as they affect less-affluent, displaced residents. A study of similar developments in Rome, he says, found that the big, dense buildings simply converted working communities into luxury markets.

Chicago’s Affordable Requirements Ordinance is supposed to moderate that trend, and Ramirez-Rosa says it has raised some money and forced some developers to add some affordable units to their buildings, but  it’s not addressing the massive issue of displacement, and there’s also a big drawback. “At the end of the day the ARO is predicated upon things getting built that need a zoning change. And so if they don’t need a zoning change, if they are not using TIF money the ARO is not triggered,” he explains.

In addition, developers sometimes demonstrate that they don’t really agree with the concept of allowing displaced residents to occupy their ARO units. “I’ve actually heard stories of the ARO units that were built in Logan Square that developers actually went up and down to the bars in Logan Square and asked the bartenders, asked the servers to apply to live in these units because their income met the requirements. And that’s great. That’s wonderful. I’m happy for every single individual that was able to get one of those affordable units but it’s not providing the housing that we need for families that are being displaced.”

Turning to Council reorganization as the new members and Mayor Lightfoot are seated, the Alderman says he believes there’s a chance for a slightly more leftward movement in the Council.

“So there’s 11 members of the Progressive Caucus in the existing council,” he explains. “Unfortunately two of them were not re-elected. That was John Arena and Tony Foulkes. And then Alderman Ricardo Munoz this is his last term but he was replaced in the City Council by Mike Rodriguez who will be joining the Progressive Caucus. And so there’s nine wards that currently have a member of the Progressive Caucus, that will continue to have a member of the Progressive Caucus. And then it looks like anywhere from seven to nine other aldermen may be joining. I certainly hope that they do so. And then there’s new folks like Maria Hadden in the 49thWard, Matt Martin in the 47thWard, Rossana Rodriguez in the 33rdWard and Byron Sigcho Lopez in the 25thWard, Jeannette Taylor in the 20thWard, Daniel La Spata in the 1stWard.  Andre Vasquez in the 40thWard. There’s a number of newly-elected aldermen that have stated their interest in joining the Progressive Caucus. So it’s going to be an exciting time to see that growth and you know  Mayor Elect Lori Lightfoot has a lot of stances that are to the left of Rahm Emanuel. I think that we’re going to see a lot of forward movement on a lot of important issues.”

Carlos Ramirez-Rosa didn’t support, or presumably vote for, Lori Lightfoot. He was an early and strong supporter of Toni Preckwinkle. But he can adapt to the new power structure.

“We now have Mayor Lightfoot and if she’s going to act on all of the progressive policies that she said she would do when she was running for mayor I’m her first vote, right? So she’s going to erase the gang database, I’m her first vote to do that. If she wants to remove the carve-outs from the welcoming city ordinance to make sure we are a true sanctuary, I’m her first vote to do that. If she wants to move forward an aggressive policy to build affordable housing throughout the entire City of Chicago and make sure that we are building it in the far Northwest side, that we are building it all across the City of Chicago I’m her first vote to do that. So I think now you know Lori has to look at who are her 26 votes, how does she accomplish that. That could mean shaking up some of the committee chairmanships but it also could mean not shaking that up, because again so many of the committee chairs have said very clearly I will follow what the mayor says.”

A key element of that restructuring is determining Committee chairmanships. And the most powerful of them all is former chair Ed Burke’s Finance Committee.

“At one point we had Alderman Beale come forward and say that he had 31 votes to be Chair of Finance,” Ramirez-Rosa muses. “Tom Tunney has come forward and said, “I have 26 votes to be Chair of Finance.” Now Scott Waguespack says that he has 25 votes. Someone is bluffing because the math does not add up. You know my thought is that Scott Waguespack would be an excellent Chair of the Finance Committee. I’ve said that before. I feel strongly about that. But if I had to put my money on who actually has the votes of those three based on the conversations I’ve had I do believe it is Alderman Tunney.”

“Tom and I have disagreed on a lot of different issues,” he continues. We disagreed on issues relating to the minimum wage, on issues related to fair scheduling, on workers’ rights. You know recently I did speak with Alderman Tunney and he said that he has evolved on those issues and that he understands that it’s not 1999 and that the workers laws and compensation need to increase in the City of Chicago…So I think again this is where you know Mayor Elect Lightfoot and the direction that she wants the City Council to go in I think that’s when that becomes a very important factor in all this.”

We end our conversation with some talk about police reform and the recent vote to move forward with a new police and fire academy on the far west side. The alderman says it shouldn’t be all about buildings.

“What the research shows and what the recommendations from the Department of Justice reflect is that it’s about curriculum,” he explains. “It’s about what it is that’s actually being taught and most important it’s about accountability. Study after study after study has found that if you want to root out racist policing practices, if you want to address police violence and misconduct, what is needed is accountability. And that ties into issues of the FOP contract which limit the city’s ability to hold police officers accountable. It’s also tied into oversight and Mayor Elect Lightfoot I’m very happy to say is in support of bringing about civilian oversight of the police.”

But the vote to move forward has been cast, and the existing academies are being sold.

“Unfortunately I think Chicago has a very long history of being one big real estate deal,” he laments. “We saw it when UIC was built and what Daley sought to do by tearing down tens of thousands of working peoples’ homes. And I think we also saw it when the existing police academy (which is by Ashland and Jackson), I went to Whitney Young so – right there. And part of the rationale about building it there at that point in time was – let’s put a strong police force just west of the Loop and then let’s allow that to help be an engine of displacement, of gentrification, right? And I think that similarly now that’s a very valuable piece of land. It’s a very valuable piece of land in the West Loop.  So Rahm Emanuel gets to sell that piece of land, right, having played the role that it was intended to play and now where do they move it? Even further west, right? And where do they place it? Right next to Oak Park. So my thought is that you know it’s the same story we’ve seen time and time again in the City of Chicago which is the city is using the institutions that it has, is using the dollars that it has to help spur and bring about gentrification…And there was no conversation about how much would it cost to refurbish and update the existing facility. Would that be less than $100-million? None of those conversations took place and so then I have to think about well then what is the motive? Why were those conversations not taking place?”

You can watch the show by tapping the image above.

You can listen to the show here: 

Read the full transcript here: CN Transcript May 9 2019

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CN May 2 2019

 

It’s an electric discussion about ticketing and property confiscations this week as we follow-up on our February 14 show with Pro-Publica and WBEZ. In essence, it has to do with people who can’t afford, or don’t choose to buy, a City sticker. They get a $200 ticket, and if it isn’t paid it quickly becomes $400. If they don’t pay that, they face The Boot. And the next step is impoundment. By now you owe the City at least a thousand dollars, probably more. And if you don’t pay that huge bill in time, they crush your car. And send you a hundred-dollar bill for crushing services! And, now car-less, you STILL owe the City all the fines and the hundo for the City Sticker!

Our guests, Northwestern’s  Mary Patillo and UIC’s Stacey Sutton, have studied these and many related issues in depth. They tell us that these regressive, punitive municipal policies are actually contributors, in many cases, to poverty and displacement. And they disproportionately affect minority communities.

Mary Pattillo is Harold Washington Professor of Sociology and African American Studies at Northwestern University.

Stacy Sutton is Assistant Professor of Urban Planning and Policy at UIC.

(This post will be updated.)

Watch the show by tapping the image above.

Listen to the show here.

Read a full transcript here:CN transcript May 2 2019

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CN April 25 2019 (Rob Paral)

 

There’s a radical reorganization of Chicago’s population going on right beneath our eyes, and very few of us are seeing the whole picture. That’s why we have demographers. And Rob Paral, of Rob Paral and Associates, is among the most often-quoted of Chicago’s practitioners.

He’s our guest for the second half of this week’s show, which begins right around the 28:30 mark.

First, the demolition of  an accepted fact. Many of the African-Americans who’ve been leaving Chicago are moving to Atlanta. Turns out that’s not quite right. They’re moving to the suburbs of Atalanta (and other southern cities.) In fact, the  black population of Atlanta is actually dropping.

But meanwhile, here in Chicago, things are fluid. “And the situation is that the white population is growing and actually growing faster than Latinos even which is a story in itself,” he explains. “Latinos are growing, Asians are growing, but we have an exodus of blacks in Chicago that it’s hard to put a good adjective on it because of the size and the scope. It just keeps going year after year anywhere from ten to 20,000 people and we’ve been going for a couple of decades of this.”

Chicago’s black population reached its peak in 1980, and has been slowly declining since, Paral informs us.

We’ve all heard the reports that Chicago’s overall population is on the decline, and how that limits our city’s politics, power and status. But Paral sorts out the numbers by sub-populations and finds some truly alarming trends.

“When white population was declining and there was black population decline we were stable and in fact in the ‘90s we grew because of Latino growth and that was driven by immigration. So you had neighborhoods anywhere from Pilsen down to the further South West side going out towards Midway Airport. You could pick any number of neighborhoods, North West side, Belmont-Cragin and they were just really growing. Schools were growing, full of kids, etc. That’s all turning around too now though.”

Paral reports that the white population is growing, but it’s complicated.The white population is actually churning along age and income parameters.

“So actually we’ve got two things going on,” he tells us. “We do have people leaving Elmwood Park, places like that, North West side. They are retiring. They are moving away. They’re not having children. Their children are moving out of the city. But then we have just an incredible influx of people and not just whites, but there are a lot of young white people getting out of college coming to Chicago living anywhere from Roosevelt Road on the South to as far North as you want to go – Montrose or North out to Western Avenue just booming. You look at the housing growth, housing development, jobs, etc. So you’ve got this center of the doughnut just kind of expanding and bursting at the seams in Chicago and that explains a lot of the white growth.”

So, to recap – we’re losing black residents at a rate that almost equals the dramatic influx of new black residents during the “second migration” in the mid- twentieth century. Latino numbers continue to increase slightly, but there are fewer immigrants arriving here now, and much of the population is suburbanizing, so it’s difficult to predict that this population will continue to increase. And the new white arrivals tend in general to be young, well educated people riding the tech boom. Whether they’ll stay in Chicago in this new, highly mobile culture remains to be seen.

And here’s an interesting possible cause for the slowing of Mexican immigration that has nothing at all to do with Building The Wall. But it does have to do with he rising affluence in Mexico.

“The average woman in Mexico up until the 1970s had something like eight children, I mean a really large number per child and that’s been plummeting, which actually is a factor in the changing immigration.” There’s just less pressure to leave Mexico, Paral says.

But Chicago does remain an excellent city for immigrants, if it still wants to be one. “You know, Chicago is not a pretentious city,” he muses. “You could say oh my gosh those are small houses. Those are narrow streets. You could say who would want to live here? You could say that by the standards of the average typical American. But you know what, you know who wants to live there? Immigrants want to live there and that’s been our history, so we’re set up to do that and that’s why the things we are doing right now are so self-damaging about immigration.”

“Well, go back to 1920 in Chicago,” he asserts. “This city was 30 or 40% foreign-born, and if you included the children of the immigrants it was more than half foreign born, a huge foreign-born (population)”

From a political perspective, the coming redistricting of Illinois’ congressional districts and the City Council Ward map could be incredibly challenging for Chicago.

“After this next census of 2020, Illinois is actually balanced on a cliff right now,” he claims. “We’re going to lose one congressional district without a doubt. We could lose two and we could lose two because of a sloppy census count. Chicago and Illinois and Cook County every government needs to just have an all-hands-on deck situation on how to get a good census count, keep an extra congressional district. The other thing that a census and a low census is going to do to us it’s going to really make redistricting of Chicago wards complicated…It’s going to be harder to draw wards that elect blacks. There’s going to be fewer where you’re going to have a super majority of blacks.”

We ask if he has advice for our new Mayor and Aldermen. “Talk to the African American community.” he demands. “Talk to leaders in the community. Talk to pastors. Talk to people on the street. What is going on? Because no one has explained the black out- migration. We don’t know why it’s happening really, so find out what’s going on. Listen to people, what are their concerns and address them.?

You can watch the show by tapping the image above and moving to about the 28:30 mark.

You can listen to the show here.

You can read a full transcript here: CN transcript April 25 2019a

 

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CN April 25 2019

Two shows this week for the price of one.

We begin with two of the people most responsible for the serious court challenge launched on Tuesday against the TIF award to Sterling Baby and Lincoln Yards.

Our second segment features Rab Paral, a celebrated demographer who’s been studying Chicago’s popuation and migration trends, and has some startling conclusions.

(It begins at about the :29:00 mark.)

You can watch  the show by tapping on the image above.

You can listen to the show on SoundCloud here.

You can read a full transcript of both shows here:

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CN April 18 2019

 

It’s politics and open lands on Chicago Newsroom this week.

Producer David Resnick joins the discussion as political and communications specialist Peter Cunningham talks with us about the immediate political scene in Chicago.

We ask, in light of today’s news that Chicago has suffered yet another population loss, if Governor Rauner was right when he blamed the exodus on excessive tax in the state.

“I don’t think that’s true,” Cunningham begins. “It may be one factor but there’s a lot of other factors. Immigration has slowed down, that’s one issue. Birth rates are actually a factor. It’s contributing to the under-enrollment in the Chicago public schools. Those are two factors. I think the third is … the emptying out of the South and West sides, the African American community at an alarming rate. It’s about 400,000 fewer African Americans in Chicago today than in 1980, and I imagine there’s a lot contributing to that from crimes to schools to lack of opportunities, to just organic movement out to the suburbs, things that were not an option for urban blacks back in the 60s and 70s, started to become an option in the 80s and 90s. So a lot going on there and I think it’s an existential threat frankly to Chicago to see whole neighborhoods emptied out.”

“When we did this campaign with Bill Daley,” he continues, (Cunningham managed Bill Daley’s recent Mayoral campaign) “we talked a lot about getting Chicago back up to three million people. It used to be 3.6-million. It’s now 2.7. There has been an influx of whites but the loss of blacks is in the decline in growth in the Latino community or both contributing to essentially a flat population base. And I think that when you think about our problems in the city from under-enrollment in the schools, emptying out the schools to extreme costs that are burdening us, some related to pension, some of them just related to just debt, some of them related to just overspending. You know increasing the population, increasing the size of the city, the activity is you know part of the answer.”

Cunningham also talks about how Lightfoot’s election was a curious “north-side revolution” and how it represented a hard-to-define anger in majority-white sections of he city.

“People are catalyzed by anger, ” Resnick adds.” I think that Peter alluded to that but I think it’s something that we need to bring in to full relief. People were mad when they voted and the anger was expressed by the “throw them out” attitude. And I think that Lori Lightfoot was a beneficiary to that.”

 

In our second segment, Openlands CEO Jerry Adelmann talks about the environmental challenges the Chicago region faces in  the coming years. And there are lots of them.

He talks specifically about the challenge of recovering  degraded lots or former industrial spaces, for example.

“Well, he says, “One of our founders said early on you have to save a site at least three times, because there’s always threats and issues and things.” Reclaiming a site and then maintaining it for years afterward, he explains, is an enormous challenge.

Adelmann also talks about Openlands’ involvement in the struggle to save Deer Grove Forest Preserve from a move to expand a two-lane road to a massive five-lane quasi-expressway. And he laments the fact that Chicago is falling behind  in street trees.

“We have one of the worst canopy covers of any large city in the country,” he claims. The Emerald Ash Borer has killed, Adelmann claims,  “16-17% of the trees on public lands, parkways and boulevards you know, ash, so that’s huge… But also we don’t have really good policies in place and it’s a concern. There’s some talk that we have lost tens of thousands of trees in the last eight years, net loss. My organization cares deeply as you know about the urban forest, not just in the city but also throughout the region… Back pre-Mayor Daley under Mayor Byrne and she did some really good things…But on the urban forest she wasn’t very good. She slashed the budget. Professional people left. There were no policies in place. We did a study and we documented that there was a net loss of about 100,000 trees over a ten-year period in the city.”

You can watch the show by tapping the image above.

You can listen to the show on Soundcloud here.

You can read a full transcript of the show here: CN transcript April 18 2019

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CN April 11 2019

The Klonsky Brothers – Fred and Mike – pay a visit this week to discuss the Lincoln Yards dust-up, and whether Lori Lightfoot got “played” by Rahm Emanuel. At the last minute, it was reported that she acknowledged the vote would go forward – there were more than enough votes – after she extracted from the developers a few more minority/women set-asides.

“She and her team could have played it two different ways” Mike claims. “One is they could have just stayed out of it and then maybe taken ownership of the struggle to change it or tweak it. Everybody knew the votes were there in the council, or she could have tried to do what she did which was to intervene as best she could, try to get a delay on the vote and then when she saw that the vote was going to go their way try to tweak it as best she could, try to build in a better deal for blacks and Latinos and women, which she did you know. Of course the problem is nobody knows what’s in that deal. None of the aldermen who voted for it had even read it, and so what’s going to happen is after she takes office on May 20th, after her inauguration she will get a chance to rework it or renegotiate it as best she can.”

Fred and Mike are solid supporters of Lightfoot, and they’ve been fending off attacks from their left, claiming that Toni Preckwinkle was the more progressive candidate. They defend Lightfoot in this discussion.

They also discuss the nearly one billion-dollar pension hole that Mayor Lightfoot will have  to tackle. And Fred is adamant that the pension payments he and his colleagues receive aren’t the cause of the deficit. It’s the massive obligations to banks to pay off the loans the City had to take out to compensate for the years when the city skipped its payments.

“It’s one out of six dollars goes to the normal cost of the public employee pension,” Fred asserts. “In other words five dollars out of six goes to pay the interest on the debt from the unfunded liability. So the cost, this cost that people are all upset about that goes to public employees whether it’s 3% compounded or 3% simple, it’s a tiny fraction of the amount of money that taxpayers are paying not to retired public employees but to the banks and the institutions that are receiving the interest on the debt because the state didn’t meet their obligations.”

“Why are we wracking our brains about compound interest, asks Mike, “and scared to death to tax the billionaires and the corporate interest in this state?”

Although bills are advancing in Springfield to change Chicago’s school board to some kind of elected system, for most of Lightfoot’s first term the Mayoral control system, in which she appoints the Board, will remain. “What I would like to see in her … school board team and the CEO,” says Fred, “I hope there’s at least a good chunk of people who are educators who know something about education and not the kind of a board we’ve seen under Rahm Emanuel which are opportunist business people making a buck.”

“There should be a left flank in the city council to Lori Lightfoot, Fred demands. ” They should push things that she may not be comfortable in doing and there should be fights. That’s what legislation – that’s what a democratic body looks like.”

We ask the Klonsky’s whether they share the concern Bill Daley raised during his campaign that Chicago must work to rebuild its population back to the three million mark. If that is a priority, then wouldn’t mega-projects lie The 78 and Lincoln Yards help attract new residents? Fred’s response is adamant.

“The loss of population in this city is not white folks on the north side making $150,000 or more. In fact, over the last 20 years we have had an additional 300,000 white folks making $150,000 moving in to the north side and having no problem finding a place to live. You know what I mean? But during that same period of time we’ve lost 300,000, … since Harold Washington we have gone from 1.2-million African Americans in the city down to around 800,000 and we are expected to lose another 200,000 in the next ten years, so Daley is wrong. The problem of loss of population and Mayor Lightfoot has talked about this, that this is not good for the city to lose population but the loss of population is among working-class folks and particularly among African Americans.”

 

Watch the show by tapping the image above.

Listen to the audio here.

Read a full transcript of the show here: CN Transcript April 11 2019

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CN April 4 2019

Delmarie Cobb, Bruce DuMont and A.D. Quig visit the show this week to put Lori Lightfoot’s election into perspective.

Delmarie Cobb has been a political activist and consultant for decades, ands consulted with two aldermanic campaigns this time, including Leslie Hairston in the 5th Ward.

Bruce DuMont has been a political commentator and talk show host, also for decades. He currently hosts Beyond the Beltway.

A.D.Quig reports on all things political for the excellent subscription news service The Daily Line.

The panelists tackle the City Council’s changing composition, as five Democratic Socialists take their seats and some old lions fall by the wayside. If Mayor Lightfoot makes good on her pledge to end aldermanic prerogatives and if she allows more leeway for aldermen to make their own committee selections, the City Council could be come a far more legislative (and interesting) body in the coming years.

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CN March 28 2019

Two discussions this week.

Sarah Karp (WBEZ) leads off with her coverage of alternative schools and the significant role they play in boosting the graduation rate at CPS. Turns out that, although CPS has made important improvements in the past few years, the truth is hidden somewhere in the statistics.

In the second half of today’s show, Kenwood-Oakland Community Organization executive director Jawanza Malone talks with us about the critical need for a community benefits agreement to be hammered out before construction of the Obama Presidential Center gets out of the ground. He also tells us that there’s pretty much no community support for the Tiger Woods-designed PGA golf course in Jackson Park, and he can’t muster the enthusiasm to endorse either mayoral candidate.

Watch the show by tapping the image above.

You can listen to the show here.

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CN March 21 2019

Two separate discussion this week.

First, journalist Audrey Henderson fills us in on the latest developments in the ongoing struggle to site an Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park. Henderson just wrote an extensive treatment of the process in Next City.

Then Business writer Robert Reed joins us to talk about his recent Chicago Magazine column  entitled “Why a Chicago Casino May Never Happen”.

You can view the show by tapping on the image above. The Robert Reed segment begins at approximately the :30 minute mark.

You can listen to the show here.

 

 

 

 

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